April 30, 2024

John Hennessey Receives Entrepreneur of the Year Award from Houston Entrepreneur’s Organization

john hennessey awarded entrepreneur of the year 1 min - Hennessey Special Vehicles
  • Founded in 1991, Hennessey Performance (HPE) has grown 10-fold in the past seven years
  • HPE delivered nearly 600 Hennessey modified vehicles in 2023 to clients around the world
  • Hennessey Special Vehicles has delivered 22 Venom F5 hypercars to clients in the past two years
  • Hennessey’s Tuner School has educated more than 500 students since 2009

Sealy, Texas (April 30, 2024) – John Hennessey, Founder and CEO of Hennessey – the Texas-based hypercar manufacturer and high-performance vehicle creator – has been named Entrepreneur of the Year by the Houston Entrepreneur’s Organization.

In 2016, Hennessey’s company – known for ‘making fast cars faster’, had 16 employees with $6 million in revenue. By 2023, the Hennessey organization had around 100 employees, and generated $63 million in total sales – a compounded annual growth rate of 40 percent over the past seven years.

“We are a 33-year overnight success story,” said company Founder & CEO, John Hennessey. “I’m an engineering school drop-out and never took a business class when I was in school. But I’ve always enjoyed being creative, taking some risks, and trying things that others may not.

“My parents encouraged me to find ways to make money when I was young as our family didn’t have money for going out to eat, or having fun. To me, being an entrepreneur is just a fancy way of saying that I was forced to figure stuff out and make money when I was young. When I was able to combine my passions for creating, selling, and making money with my passion for cars and racing, that’s how our business began in 1991.”

The company was founded 33 years ago after John indulged his passion for motorsport, learning the first rule of car racing: “If you want to make a small fortune in racing, you start with a larger fortune!” After modifying his 1991 Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4 and competing at the Pikes Peak Hill Climb, Bonneville Salt Flats (setting the record for F-P/S class), Nevada Open Road Challenge (4th overall with an avg. speed of 164 mph, over 90 miles), and winning the Unlimited Class at the Silver State Classic (2nd overall with an avg. speed of 167 mph, over 90 miles), Hennessey was hooked on racing, but at a cost.

“1991 was a crazy year – I was engaged, got married, bought a house, paid for a honeymoon, and took part in all these races,” John said. “When we got home from the honeymoon, I looked at my bank balance and thought that that I needed to find a way to make a business out of my passion if I wanted to continue racing. Thus began Hennessey Motorsports.”

“For the first 25 years of the business, we were raising a family, having fun racing, and building fast cars for customers around the world. I found that I could design and build great cars that the media loved to test and write about,” said Hennessey. The company’s vehicles have been featured in every major automotive publication including gracing the covers of Top Gear, Motor Trend, Road & Track, and Car & Driver.

“We would get calls from the media looking to test our cars – I didn’t realize it at the time, but we were building a brand. The Hennessey name had become well known among car enthusiasts in our first 5-10 years helped by our Venom Vipers setting speed records back in the 90’s and 2000’s. Then, when YouTube and social media came along, we were able to appeal to a much wider audience.”

Today, Hennessey reaches a broad audience of car enthusiasts aged from eight to 80+ years old, with more than three million Instagram followers (more than the Houston Texans American football team!) and their high-performance YouTube videos receive millions of views per month.

Hennessey’s companies have all leveraged the company’s strong brand name to deliver more than 16,000 vehicles to clients around the globe. Hennessey Performance Engineering (HPE) modifies and sells cars, trucks & SUV’s; Hennessey Special Vehicles (HSV) designs, engineers, and manufactures the Venom F5 hypercar; Tuner School is the world’s only trade school dedicated to training automotive modifications. Some notable Hennessey clients include: Jay Leno, Michael Jordan, Steven Tyler, Kid Rock, Tim Duncan, Alan Jackson, Adam Levine, and Indy 500 winner, Josef Newgarden.

“We spent the first 25 years figuring out how to build a great brand and team,” said Hennessey. “The incredible growth that we’ve had over the past eight years is because of our passionate, skilled, and dedicated team of professionals, including our six grown children who all now work in the business. Being able to work with my family and build something amazing is one of my greatest joys and blessings in life.”

To find out more about each of the businesses in the Hennessey Group – visit the respective brand websites –  Hennessey Performance (HennesseyPerformance.com); Hennessey Special Vehicles (HennesseySpecialVehicles.com); Tuner School (TunerSchool.com).


About Hennessey Special Vehicles

The Hennessey Special Vehicles team was formed to create the world-record-breaking hypercars, the Hennessey Venom GT (270.49 mph in 2014) and the current world-record-holding ‘fastest convertible’ the Hennessey Venom GT Roadster (265.5 mph in 2016).

In 2020, Hennessey Special Vehicles launched the 100% bespoke, twin-turbocharged, 6.6-liter V8 Venom F5 Coupe, which sold out in 2021. An open-top Roadster and track-focused Revolution variant joined the F5 Coupe in 2022 and 2023, boasting the F5’s prodigious 1,817 bhp ‘Fury’ engine. In mid-2023, the Texas-based company revealed the Venom F5 Revolution Roadster, which combines visceral open-air motoring with a racing circuit focus. The company is delivering like never before on its mission of ‘making fast cars faster.’

HennesseySpecialVehicles.com | HennesseyPerformance.com